Breaking Free

Ever felt smothered by everyone else's idea of what your life should be like? Have you ever just wanted to say "Stop! It's my life!" to those closest to you? We all have, haven't we? I bet you were too afraid to do it though. So you kept your mouth shut, and did exactly what you always told yourself you would never do: you followed the rules set by people who don't really know you, and let THEM control your life. But what could happen if you finally just said no? If you decided to follow your own dream? Would something amazing happen? Would you fall in love? Would you find what you've been looking for your whole life? What could happen if you just...broke free?

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36. Shatter.

--Eight and a half hours later--

"Dan where is he?!" Belle yelled, standing up from her seat where Lou Teasdale was fixing her hair.

"Oh sweetie I wasn't done with--"

"Dan I have to see Louis before I go onstage, I've never performed without seeing him first!" Belle interrupted, stepping up to Dan, who was standing in the doorway looking rather scared of Belle's outburst.

"Belle I've been looking but I just can't find him, the boys don't even know where he is." Dan replied semi-calmly while he took a step back away from a crazed looking Belle. "I don't understand Belle, you didn't want to see him when you found out about the song change so why do you--"

"I've never performed without seeing him first Dan. He calms me down, if I go out there without his support I'll probably trip and bust my face. I have to see him!"

Before Dan could say anything, Josh came running around the corner and poked his head in the room as well. "Hey I just talked to Matt, we're on in fifteen minutes."

"Did you see Louis anywhere?" Belle asked quickly, her eyes wide with hope. Josh pursed his lips and shook his head. "Damn it!" Belle yelled, turning around and grabbing her hair in frustration.

"Hey don't mess up my masterpiece!" Lou shouted, standing up from her chair and putting Belle's arms down away from her freshly fixed hair. Belle looked apologetic.

"Sorry." She murmured.

Lou just chuckled and wrapped her arms around Belle in a comforting hug. "Oh it's alright sweetie. Don't you worry, that boy loves you more than the world, and I'm sure he'll find you before you go on stage."

Belle relaxed her shoulders and melted into Lou's embrace. "I sure hope so."

Lou released Belle and leaned back to look at her. "Well, you look absolutely gorgeous, so get on out there and do amazing okay?"

Belle took in a deep breath and nodded her head, turning on her heel and looking at Josh and Dan, who were returning her look with expressions of sympathy.

"Let's do it." Belle said.

***

"Damn it." Louis mumbled under his breath, walking down a lone corridor backstage. For the past eight hours, Louis had been running back and forth doing mandatory sound checks, getting his hair and wardrobe ready for the concert, and all the while trying to find Olivia and figure out what she was up to.

He had attempted to contact the local authorities about the issue of Belle's safety, explaining Alan's warning call, but they simply shot him down as soon as they got in touch with the venue's security, who assured everything was safe.

Louis was one hundred percent sure at this point that Olivia had something to do with this whole 'taking Belle after her performance' plot that Alan had warned Louis about before he... Louis shuddered to think of the scream he had heard at the end of the call.

Louis checked the time on his phone and saw that Belle was supposed to go onstage in about ten or fifteen minutes. He had been trying to get all of this under control on his own, and keep the information away from Belle so that she wouldn't be scared. He had been trying to see her and make sure she was safe, but not tell her about her dad's plans. It didn't matter though since Olivia (who he had also been unable to locate) had been making security keep Louis away from her so she could "better rehearse".

Knowing that Belle was probably side stage at this point doing her vocal warmups, Louis figured that no matter what Olivia did or who she ordered to keep Louis away, she couldn't keep Belle away from him. They couldn't keep him away from the stage after all.

With that thought, Louis turned and started walking towards the stairwell that led up to the stage. The hallway was empty and the door to the stairwell was open. Just as he was walking towards it though, a security guard that Louis had never seen before came down the stairs and through the door.

Louis was surprised that he didn't know the guard, he knew most of security. 

Just as Louis opened his mouth to greet the man, he smirked and closed the door behind him.

Then he locked it.

"What the hell!" Louis shouted, sprinting to the door and trying to pull open the door but it wouldn't budge. The security guard was peering through the little strip of glass at Louis with a vile grin. "What are you doing?!" Louis shouted.

The "guard" simply chuckled, walking up the stairs and leaving Louis alone in the empty corridor that had no other exit. 

"Fuck!" Louis shouted, looking around for some other way to get out. There was nothing. He pulled his phone out to call someone but there was no reception. Which made sense, he was basically in the basement of the venue. He came down here because another guard (which he now assumed was also in on this whole plan) had said he saw Olivia come down this way. Was the entire security team just a part of whatever Olivia's evil plan was?

Louis sighed and ran a hand through his hair in frustration, looking at the door hopelessly.

The door had a vertical rectangle shaped strip of glass above the handle. If Louis could somehow break the glass, he would be able to stick his arm through and unlock the door handle from the other side.

Taking a deep breath of courage, Louis stripped off his black shirt that Lou had picked out for him and wrapped it around his hand so that it was completely covered. With that, Louis inhaled again and reared his hand back before punching the glass as hard as he could.

The glass shattered with Louis' brute force, and Louis gasped in pain as a particular shard pierced through the cloth around his hand and cut the top of his hand. Louis cursed under his breath but didn't have time to focus on the pain, instead reaching through and unlocking the door as quickly as he could. The door popped open and Louis retracted his arm before bursting through to the stairwell and sprinting up the stairs.

***

"Belle you need to relax." Niall said firmly, putting a hand on her shoulder to try and calm her down. 

Belle bounced up and down on her toes, looking around in frustration and nervousness. She looked like a rockstar, with ripped skinny jeans and lace-up combat boots, a white studded tank top covered by a leather half-sleeve jacket. Her hair was curled and pinned to one side so that it wouldn't be in her face while she sang and did the choreography she had perfected over the past several hours.

"How can I relax when nobody knows where he is and I go on in two minutes?" Belle asked worriedly, to both Liam and Niall who were standing on either side of her, peering out from sidestage to the awaiting crowd. The band was already setting up.

"I'm sure Louis' just--" Liam started to say but was cut off.

"Belle! Belle!" 

All three heads whipped around to where the voice was coming from.

"Louis!" Belle shouted as her boyfriend came running around the corner. She was so happy and relieved to see him that she didn't even stop to question why he was shirtless and his shirt was wrapped around his hand.

They met halfway in a massive embrace, Liam and Niall hanging back to give them their privacy. Belle hugged Louis for comfort, and Louis tightly hugged her back out of relief that she was okay.

They both leaned back, resting their foreheads against each other. "Louis where have you been I--"

"I'll explain everything later, I just need you to listen to me right now okay?"

"Okay, but--"

"Look you have to promise me that as soon as your show is over you won't go back to the tour bus, you'll stay here and watch us perform."

Belle cocked her head to the side. "Alright, but I don't understand--"

"And do not talk to any security guards or go with them anywhere!" Louis hastily interrupted. "If you go anywhere, either be with Paul or Lou, nobody else." Louis was holding Belle's arms with his hands and bending his knees to look into her eyes, speaking as firmly as he could.

"Louis you're scaring me." She said honestly.

"Don't be scared just--"

"Costa! Fifteen seconds!" A tech manager yelled out.

"Shit Louis I've got to go, love you!" Belle said quickly, pecking Louis on the lips quickly before turning away from him and running towards the stage.

"Belle promise me you'll--" Louis started to shout after her.

"I promise!" Belle yelled back dismissively, stopping right beside the curtain for just a moment, her back to Louis. He watched as her shoulders rose and fell in one deep breath before she took a microphone from the tech guy and walked on stage. The band started playing immediately and Louis recognized the tune of "With Ur Love" by Cher Lloyd. 

Niall and Liam walked up to Louis. 

"Louis why are you bleeding?" Liam asked in shock, grabbing Louis' arm and looking at his hand. "Louis you need to go see the meds before we perform and--"

"Boys I need your help." Louis interrupted gravely.

***

Belle rang out the last note to "Stronger" by Kelly Clarkson and held her arms up, grinning from ear to ear as she basked in the spotlight. That was without a doubt the best performance of her life, even though she'd only first rehearsed it less than twelve hours ago. 

The crowd went nuts, girls screaming and squealing. Belle put her hands down and took a deep breath before addressing the crowd.

"Thank you all so much, you are a fantastic crowd!" Pause for more squealing. "Now it is my genuine pleasure to introduce five of my favorite boys in the whole wide world, One Direction!"

The yelling was deafening, and Belle turned to the side with her arm outstretched where the boys were supposed to run on stage at her introduction.

'Supposed to' being the key phrase.

Belle's breath caught in her throat as nobody ran out. She turned to the crowd with an open mouth, but no words came. The venue got eerily quiet as the fans started to murmur and complain. Belle looked to the band for help, but they looked just as confused as she did.

"Erm...One Direction!" Belle tried again with feigned enthusiasm, but the boys still didn't come out.

The murmurs in the crowd started to get louder and Belle chuckled nervously into the microphone. "Um, if you all will just give me one quick second I think there's some erm, technical difficulties." Belle smiled at the crowd like nothing was wrong, even though she was freaking out on the inside. Where the hell were those boys?

Belle took one quick glance back at the band who were all looking at each other with confused expressions before putting her microphone on the stand and literally running off the stage.

As soon as she was sidestage, Belle turned to the first tech person she saw and yelled, "Where the hell are they?!"

In the background, Belle heard the audience start a chant. "We want One D! We want One D!"

"I don't know, they're supposed to be here!" The tech shouted back before grabbing his earpiece and speaking into it quickly, turning his back on Belle.

Before Belle could grab the tech's shoulder and demand a better answer, she saw five familiar faces come skidding around the corner, with looks of satisfaction on their face. They were all dressed to perform, and Louis had on a new shirt.

Belle huffed and started storming up to the boys, who were fast walking/running towards the stage. 

"Belle we--"

"Where the fuck have you been?!" Belle interrupted, making them all lean back with shock on their face.

"Babe we--"

"I just gave the best damn performance of my life and the crowd was on the verge of booing me because you douchebags didn't run out when I introduced you! Get the hell out there!" Belle shouted.

"But Belle we were--" Niall started.

"I don't give a shit what you were doing, just go!" Belle shouted, stepping behind them all and trying to push them. Liam, Niall, Harry, and Zayn started to run to the stage but Louis hung back for a second.

"Louis get the hell out there, the fans are--"

Belle was cut off as Louis abruptly turned around and grabbed Belle's face, crushing his lips to hers. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Belle knew that the other four boys had already started without Louis, but she couldn't will herself to break the mind-blowing kiss to tell Louis to get out there with them.

About five seconds passed before Louis finally pulled away and Belle had to blink her eyes several times to make the stars go away. She grinned lazily up at Louis, who smiled from ear to ear.

"What was that for?" She asked.

"I'm just so glad you're here, and you're safe." Louis said. Belle opened her mouth to question him, but he silenced her with one more peck on the lips before turning and running on stage. 

Belle heard the crowd get louder as soon as Louis ran on with the other boys, jumping straight into the song as if he had been there the whole time. 

Belle was still standing sidestage with a dumbstruck expression, and she had to shake her head to get her senses back together. She turned to head back towards her dressing room to change but froze instead.

"Let me go right now! You unruly brute do you even know who I am?! I'll have you arrested for this!"

Paul just chuckled as he drug Olivia by the arm with a policeman on the other side of her. "You go ahead and try, see how that works out for you."

Just as Olivia, Paul, and the policeman passed Belle, who was standing with her jaw dropped, Olivia caught sight of her.

"You." Olivia said menacingly, pulling back away from the policeman and Paul. "You little bitch, this is all your damn fault!" She yelled. Belle's expression turned to one of shocked anger.

"Alright let's go." The policeman started to say, continuing to drag her.

"No." Belle said quickly, holding up her hand and walking up to them. "Go on." She said with an attitude as she stepped in front of Olivia, who was still being held onto by the two men. "Say what you have to say, I'm all ears." She said with a smart ass tone.

"You think you're such a little princess, don't you?" Olivia hissed. "With your pretty brown hair, your popstar boyfriend, living out your little fairytale life? Well at the end of the day, that doesn't mean shit. You're just a little bitch that ran away from home when she had it all because she didn't want to work for daddy. Well your dad was going to pay me a shitload to get you back to America so he could--"

"Wait what?" Belle interrupted incredulously. Olivia cocked her head and smirked.

"Oh yeah." Olivia responded with feigned niceness. "Your daddy had already promised me a huge paycheck advance if I got you back to America. And I would have done it if it weren't for your little gay boyband friends! But don't worry I'm sure they'll end up just like that another blonde kid you were probably screwing. It's your fault he's dead after all!"

"Alright that's enough." Paul said gruffly as he and the policeman started to drag Olivia away again. 

"This is all your fault you little bitch! You'll get what's coming to you!"

Belle stood awestruck in the corridor as people walked past her. Reporters, tech and sound support, another policeman, security. She didn't move.

Belle didn't react as Lou walked up to her and was shaking her shoulders trying to get her attention.

Belle didn't react as Lou called over someone from the medical team to look at her. 

Belle didn't react as she was moved to a back room to be examined by an actual doctor.

Belle didn't react as the boys finished their concert and they all ran backstage to see her.

Belle didn't react when Louis hugged her and held her close, asking her over and over again what was wrong.

Finally, after what seemed like ages of her mind being completely numb, Belle looked away from the ground and up at Louis, who was sitting beside her. The room went silent as everyone waited to see what she would do next.

"Belle? Babe what is it? Did you find out about your dad and Olivia? Did you see her?"

Belle's expression didn't change.

"I killed him." She said quietly, her voice hoarse. Louis cocked his head to the side.

"Killed who?" He asked, surprise in his voice.

"Alan. I killed Alan. He's dead. And it's all my fault."

Louis' eyes went wide and he went to protest but was cut off as Belle passed out in his arms.

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